Symptoms of Low stomach acid are some of the most overlooked aspects of treatment for patients who struggle with IBS, SIBO, low Iron, Parasites, GI infections and nutritional deficiencies. The consequences of ignoring these symptoms or not knowing the risk factors for low stomach acid can be devastating.
Hydrochloric acid (HCL) helps your body to break down, digest, and absorb nutrients such as protein. It also eliminates bacteria and viruses in the stomach, protecting your body from infection. Left untreated, hypochlorhydria can cause damage to the gastrointestinal (GI) system, infections, and a number of chronic health issues.
Today’s video, is super important because many people have all the signs and symptoms of low stomach acid yet they fail to recognize them. I am hoping this video series provides you with answers for you or your loved ones.
LOW STOMACH ACID SYMPTOMS
Most people with stomach issues assume they have too much stomach acid, but many times it’s just the opposite… it’s too little. This is why I felt it was so important for me to put this video series together. Drugs for acid reflux and GERD are cash cows for the pharmaceutical companies. More than 60 million prescriptions for GERD were filled in 2004. Americans spent $13 billion on acid stopping medications in 2006. Nexium, the most popular, brought in $5.1 billion alone – making it the second highest selling drug behind Lipitor.
Millions of are taking these acid blocking pills and proton pump inhibitors when they don’t need them, and this is causing damage to the stomach, damage in the intestines, its causing osteoporosis, its causing SIBO and Candida and other fungal infections, its contributing to so many health problems. Here’s what’s going on with most people who have acid reflux. Remember, Your stomach makes hydrochloric acid for a reason, if you don’t make enough hydrochloric acid, then your food is not broken down properly. When food is not properly broken down, this in turn, increases gas production so you walk around feeling like you are passing gas with every step you take and every time you bend over, it increases heart burn, it increase infections. So, before you reach for the antacids and acid blocking pills, It’s important to self check your acid levels– I explain how to do this with the HCL challenge test in another video and I will leave a link that explains how to do this.
In over 20 years of practice focusing on lifestyle medicine and working with thousands of patients who had heartburn and indigestion- what I found in almost off them was that, symptoms were relieved and digestion improved when I prescribed supplemental hydrochloric acid and pepsin
#2 Trouble Digesting Meat
When you have low stomach acid is Trouble Digesting Meat. Many patients I work with have IBS and one of the biggest challenges I have encountered over the last 20 years is the unhealthy emotional connection to food many people who have IBS struggle with.
What I mean by that is that for many people with IBS and SIBO, are very quick to eliminate a food from their diet due to the association of a food with their symptom. So, what winds up happening is that they stop eating meat because they associate eating meat with diarrhea and little by little over the next year or two- that person is on a very limited diet.
Instead of focusing on the root cause of why they are having trouble digesting meat- they completely eliminate it. That’s not really the solution. You want to focus on improving your digestion rather than eating only a handful of foods. Also, worth mentioning is that very often because you are not digesting proteins properly, you become deficient in an assortment of amino acids. You now find yourself feeling fatigued, nausea, brain fog after eating meat. So, just remember meat is not the problem- it is your digestion that’s the problem. Fix the digestion and you will fix the trouble digesting meat.
#3 Gas and Bloating After Eating
Gas and Bloating After Eating is another red flag of poor digestion due to low stomach acid. Remember stomach acid is designed to break down fats and proteins. If you have low stomach acid then your food does not get completely broken down and this can lead to lots of gas. Many times gas and bloating is also caused by a Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or a Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO).
#4 Food Allergies and Food Intolerances/Sensitivites.
Another symptom that is often overlooked and on my list is Food Allergies and Food Intolerances. It is estimated that 80 percent of people with food allergies and food Intolerances suffer from some degree of low acid production in the stomach.
Most food allergies and intolerances are actually the result of proteins that don’t ever break down completely and so they enter the bloodstream as irritants. Once in the blood stream, the immune system becomes activated and you get the release of histamine.
Histamine is the chemical that causes the itchy throat, runny nose and the watering eyes, low blood pressure, skin itching and diarrhea. This is often seen in conjunction with something called a leaky gut and SIBO. Learn more about Histamine intolerance here.
#5 Nutritional Deficiencies
When you look at your bloodwork over the years do you see a pattern of low B12, low iron or low vitamin D? Do the terms of Iron deficiency or iron anemia or ring a bell? If you said yes, you may want to considering taking digestive enzymes like Betaine and Pepsin to help your body better absorb it’s nutrients. Not only does low stomach acid affect your B12, iron and vitamin D levels, Low stomach acid also causes, you to have low levels of zinc, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium. The reason for these deficiencies is that these vitamins and minerals require acid to be properly absorbed. If you have low stomach acid- they won’t be properly absorbed.
#6 Skin Problems
Skin Problems- things like Acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. A healthy gut is one of the keys to healthy hair, and beautiful skin. Unfortunately, low stomach acid leads to excessive bacterial and fungal growth. This can cause a variety of skin issues including acne. This explains why 40 percent of people with acne have low stomach acid, according to research.
#7 Undigested Food Particles In Your Stool.
Undigested Food particles in your Stool.This one should be pretty obvious. If you are not properly digesting your food, due to low stomach acid, then it only makes sense that you will see Undigested Food particles in the toilet after a bowel movement.
#8. Hair Loss and Weak Brittle nails-
Hair Loss and Weak Brittle nails- These symptoms go back to what I just talked about vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Most common B vitamins implicated in hair loss and Brittle nails are going to be thing like Folate, B12 and Biotin or B9. (source)
#9 Diarrhea or Constipation.
Another symptom of low stomach acid is Diarrhea or Constipation. Low stomach acid affects the emptying of the stomach contents. Essentially it slows down motility. Another way low stomach acid can cause diarrhea brings us back to one of the major functions of hydrochloric acid.
In a previous video, I said that Hydrochloric acid has several functions, one of them being- sterilizing the contents of the stomach- which prevents small intestinal bacterial and fungal overgrowth- SIBO or SIFO are known causes of IBS symptoms which include diarrhea and constipation.
If you liked todays video, be sure to check out the next video in this series because I’m going to dig into some of the root Causes Of Low Stomach Acid and 5 Ways To Naturally Improve Symptoms Of Low Stomach acid.
Remember, It’s one thing to treat the symptoms and feel better, but it’s a whole other game, knowing what’s causing your symptoms and correcting the cause.
Other Videos And Articles Recommended
- Video #1- Overlooked Symptoms of Low Stomach acid and Hypochlorhydria
- 5 ways To Naturally Improving Symptoms Of Low Stomach Acid
- Understanding Intestinal Dysbiosis
- Medications that Cause Leaky Gut
- Skin Problems- Why The Gut Holds The Key To Beautiful Skin